Guest Spots: Implodes’ sonic-phenomena counterparts

Implodes: Black Earth Implodes: Black Earth (Kranky, 4/20/11)

Implodes: “Marker”

[audio:|titles=Implodes: “Marker”]

According to Chicago-based drone-rock band Implodes, its new album, Black Earth, is inspired by a “haunted and magical place,” where “there’s an old barn there with many rooms and a silo that’s filled with dead insects.” With a wealth of slow-moving melodies and dark guitar murmuring tangled in a web of reverb, it’s an aptly creepy description. The Psycho-esque cover art does an equally effective job of communicating the record’s paradoxical beauty and gloom.

All four members of the band answered this question for ALARM: what natural sonic phenomenon best describes your role in Implodes?

Implodes’ Sonic-Phenomena Counterparts
by Implodes

Emily Elhaj:

Naturally, I would hope my sound could be likened to an avalanche. The indistinct rumble of packed snow sliding down a mountain’s façade seems to complement the booming nature and tone of my playing. The sounds are heavy yet mobile.

Justin Rathell:

The world around me has a remarkable way of translating very easily into percussive rhythms, tapping on my ears, begging me to follow along. Playing in Implodes often reminds me of just a couple of choice moments, much darker moments in my times experimenting with hallucinogens.  Times where I was stricken with such overwhelming paranoia that I found myself focusing on the quietest, most isolated sounds.  Sounds that began to grow louder and louder, drowning out other foreground noise that, in reality, was much more prominent. Sometimes, I was hearing the pulse in my neck or the beat of my own heart.  It sounded like drums to me.  It was somehow comforting. Everything else, even my other senses would dull.  Except I think I could see my pulse; it would move the air.

Matt Jencik:

My guitar sound reminds me of getting caught in an undertow in the ocean and getting tossed around in the wave, with the water roaring in your ears, not knowing which way is up.  Then somehow ending up on shore with just a few scrapes from the sand on the way back in, not sure how you didn’t drown.

Ken Camden:

The auroras of Saturn, much like the aurora borealis of Earth, are created when charged particles enter the planet’s atmosphere via solar winds.  These particles tend to form around the magnetic poles of the planet and spiral around the magnetic field lines of Saturn.  These particles are energetic enough to ionize nearby gas molecules to the point of emitting light.  This reaction simultaneously emits a variety of low-frequency radio waves deep into space.  My sonic role in Implodes reminds me of this phenomenon.  I see my sound as an atmospheric force that creates an electromagnetic interference around a center sphere of rhythm and harmony.

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